Wednesday, May 16, 2007

McGovern on $3 a Day

I had heard that Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) and his wife were living off food stamps this week to bring attention to how little the $3-a-day average stipend actually buys recipients. The McGoverns, along with US Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) are each limiting themselves to $21 in groceries as part of a "Food Stamp Challenge" to raise awareness of hunger.

What I didn't know is that Rep. McGovern is also blogging his experience. The intersection of his life as a Washington politician and his self-imposed food budget lead to some pretty amusing situations. For example, here is how he describes a banquet he attended last night:

I was extremely hungry. The hors d'oeuvres looked terrific -- so did the red wine. I settled for a glass of tap water.

Thankfully, my wife, Lisa, arrived at the beginning of the dinner with an egg and cheese sandwich on a tortilla. I ate it in 3 seconds (people looked at me as if I were crazy).
This morning I attended a fundraiser in my honor at Bistro Bis restaurant at the Hotel George. I brought a banana for breakfast. Others were served eggs, bacon, potatoes, sweet rolls, butter, jam and great smelling coffee. I had water with my banana. I would have killed for one slice of bacon (too many people watching).
I think it's great that McGovern is doing this, and I'm a little disappointed that only three other members of Congress joined in. Congressman Ryan is also blogging his experience.